Sunday, August 22, 2010

Early Emmys: Hathaway, NPH and a Mad Men Rant

I've neglected to mention that Our Miss Anne Hathaway is now an EMMY winner. (The Emmys have so many hundreds of categories, that they have to start weeks before the actual show in passing them out.) Next step: Oscar... or maybe Tony? (she did get bang up reviews for her theater gig in Twelfth Night, too) Yay! She won the prize for her Simpsons voicework in the episode "Once Upon a Time in Springfield."

Voicework for The Simpsons is always a good idea for actors.
  1. You get paid.
  2. It's probably fun.
  3. It's a pop culture merit badge. Many celebrities have have had the honor -- everyone from La Pfeiffer through George Takei to Don Cheadle -- but you're still in a cool club.
But... you don't actually win Emmys for it. That can't be a reason to do it. While the principle Simpsons cast (Yeardley Smith, Julie Cavner, Nancy Cartwright, Dan Castellanata, Hank Azaria) has won several Emmy awards, Hathaway is only the third non-series regular to win or even be nominated. The first was Jackie Mason who guested on three episodes as Rabbi Krustofski. Kelsey Grammar, who has "appeared" in 13 episodes won later. Maybe they changed the rules and this won't be so unlikely in the future I don't know -- it's so hard to keep track of Emmy rules and there hundreds of categories.

<--- Red Carpet Break. To your left is Kristin Chenoweth & Kathy Griffin doing Charlie's Angels on the red carpet. They're such hams. I don't watch Life on the D List that often -- finding KG funny but quite wearying in repetition -- but the recent episode that Cheno appeared in was hilar', especially when they went all Singin' in the Rain moment with Kathy "singing" with Cheno's voice.

Some Early Prizes
Guest Actress Comedy Betty White SNL
We knew that was coming but she did not attend. Strange.
Guest Actress Drama Ann-Margret Law & Order: SVU
Was she a victim, a perp, a witness? Doesn't matter. She's Ann-Margret! (pictured further down the page)
Guest Actor Comedy Neil Patrick Harris, Glee
He finally has his Emmy, two of them actually since he also won as part of the Tony ceremony team. Congrats NPH. Now have those babies with Burtka and take that well deserved break. Just don't stay away too long.

Guest Actor Drama John Lithgow Dexter.
I haven't seen this particular season yet but it's about to arrive for my viewing. Lithgow is practically magnetized when it comes to awards statues so it's a little weird that he couldn't manage the Oscars. I think if he went back to movies full time, it'd be a done deal. He has 4 Emmys, 2 Golden Globes and 2 Tonys. No joke.
Host, Reality Series Jeff Probst, Survivor.
Are people still watching that. Sheesh. Expiration dates, people!
Casting Comedy Series Modern Family
Casting Drama Series Mad Men
Both casting awards are well deserved, don't you think... especially Modern Family in its first season. Mad Men only had to find key new players and guest stars.

A couple more notes...

Yes, Lisa.
Is the water ready?
Yes, Lisa.
Shall We Begin?
Yes, Lisa
Wendy and Lisa, pictured above to the right, won for scoring Nurse Jackie. They have a different type of career since those 80s Prince paisley rock days but it's still celebrated, so good on them. Nurse Jackie is such a strongly conceived show up to and including those opening credits and the music. I still think it's pilot episode is one of the most perfectly constructed pilots television has ever seen. It's fun to see Wendy holding a golden trophy. Now, can Wendy's wife Lisa Cholodenko (a different Lisa mind you) repeat that trick at the Oscars for The Kids Are All Right?

RANT! And finally because the Emmys always find some way to piss me off, it should be known that The Tudors bested Mad Men in the field of costume design. This means that Joan Bergin now has three Emmys for her four seasons of eligible work on The Tudors thus far and the absolute genius of Janie Bryant, Mad Men's costume designer, is still zero for three (though she won previously for Deadwood). Bryant goes home statueless each year of Mad Men despite delivering complex ultra-specific character costuming work with evolving period details that has also affected actual fashion trends in the outside world it's so smartly executed. Blasphemy!

See, Royalty Porn is the simplest statue-winning trick at the Emmys, too. It's not just the Oscars that will always give you a prize for dressing Queens.

...or undressing them in the case of Jonathan Rhys-Meyers.


For Your Speculation (Big Ted) said...

Not a fan of Ann-Margret's work on SVU and I think she should have thanked Matt Weiner in her speech for bringing back Bye Bye Birdie to pop culture.

John T said...

Not to nitpick, but Kelsey Grammer isn't really a series regular on The Simpsons and he has an Emmy for his work on the series.

par3182 said...

of the 24 emmys svu has been nominated for over the years, fifteen have been for guest actress in a drama series (with six consecutive wins). if you're an actress of a certain age, playing a victim/perp/witness can be very rewarding

now that NPH has two emmys, hopefully eric stonestreet can win supporting actor in a comedy series

unbelievably harry shearer is the only simpsons regular not to have won for his voicework. he's freakin' monty burns, for fracks sake! that's even more egregious than the janie bryant situation

Alex Constantin said...

Host, Reality Series Jeff Probst, Survivor.
Are people still watching that. Sheesh. Expiration dates, people!

Oh, comeeeee on! Are you even watching this? :) It's not like it won Best Reality Show Competition..., which The Amazing Race will deservedly win again. Survivor isn't even nominated there, although it had a great recent season.

Jeff won Host and it seriously had no competition in this category. He's adorable and the show just wouldn't be the same without him.

signed: a Survivor, The Amazing Race, Project Runway, Scream Queens :P fan.

RJ said...

Ok ... about Survivor. This past season was the first season I'd watched in maybe 10 years, and it was REALLY good.

Michael said...

I agree with Alex! Jeff Probst totally deserved that win. The show had its best season ever (and as an avid watcher of 'Survivor,' I'll certainly admit that there have been some reallllly boring seasons). But I've been watching since s2 and this really was the best season so far.

Also, did you hear Ann-Margret got a standing ovation when she won? Surprising, isn't it? If Betty were there she probably would have gotten one, too.

jen said...

Nathaniel , I'm so happy Hathaway won for "The Simpsons". Even though I feel the Emmys love to bestow awards to undeserving A-list stars - to help bring attention to the awards ceremony . But, Anne deserved her nomination ( and win) . She truly brought her A-game to that show. Besides bringing incredible charisma to her role, she displayed great comedic timing, perfect Long Island accent, stupendous operatic singing, and lovely dramatic moments .

P.S. Hathaway did a killer version of " Moon River" for this cartoon. It was to die for !! Audrey Hepburn would be proud of Anne's interpretation of that classic song.

OtherRobert said...

But did the winner for (older) period porn give a speech saying she didn't really deserve the award because the Academy overlooks new(er) costume designs? The existence of Joan as a character on Mad Men should have guaranteed them three wins so far. There is not one scene in the series where Christina Hendricks didn't start out impeccably dressed. Then when the facade is destroyed, the costume work is even more impressive.

Jay said...

Annoyed at Anne Hathaway's win. Her work on The Simpsons was far from memorable, and she's easily one of my least favorite actresses of her generation.

NathanielR said...

John T -- weird. i combed over and over the emmy wins for the simpsons and did not see that win.

i'll have to double check my stats later.

eduardo said...

i have mixed feelings about NPH finally winning his long overdue Emmy. I'm glad he finally won, but on the other hand Mike O'Malley deserved the win more than him IMO

John T said...

I agree-O'Malley definitely, definitely deserved that one.

Nat-it was 2006 Best Voiceover Performance.

jen said...

Jay , you must have seen a different "Simpsons" episode because Hathaway killed it. Plus, she received great reviews from the tv critics.

Cluster Funk said...

K & K's D-list duet was indeed hysterical, but boy has that show gone downhill, despite (or perhaps because of?) the increasing A-list celebrity quotient. Kathy's act has gone stale, and that lacquered appearance and emaciated Hollywood body have taken a definite bite out of her outsider edge. Pity too, since the 1st and 3rd seasons were, pound for pound, some of the funniest among TV comedies...ever.

pablo b said...

i'm happy for anne hathaway's wins, that episode was beautiful, and hathaway was wonderful in it from the accent to hte singing and her version of "moon river" was fantastic

Deborah said...

Janie Bryant has an Emmy for her amazing work on Deadwood, but she has certainly MORE than earned it for Mad Men.

Rax said...

Re the voice-over Emmy: the award used to be chosen by a jury and they'd only announce a winner (no nominees) until last year, explaining while many memorable guest stars on The Simpsons were never acknowledged (and one regular - Harry Shearer has incredibly never won an Emmy).

Hayden said...

Let's hope Anne Hathaway's "Best Voiceover" Emmy doesn't haunt her the way Julianne Moore's "Best Ingenue" Daytime Emmy must...if the Oscar and Tony are further away than they seem right now.

John said...

Surprised you didn't mention Streep's voice performance as Bart's girlfriend. I loved that episode.

John said...

Oh, and Bryant's competition is only going to get tougher next year. Showtime is unveiling a new period drama ("The Borgias," with Jeremy Irons) and let's not forget "Boardwalk Empire" and "Game of Thrones" on HBO, as well as "Camelot" on Starz.

Jake D said...

Be nice to Survivor. It had two really great back-to-back seasons, the second of which was possibly the best season yet. And really- it's only in its 11th year, and while the twists are kind of tired, locations are pretty stale, and the casting is getting more and more dubious, it's totally consistent and still compelling.

But Probst should have been nowhere near an Emmy this year. He picks favorite players (generally those who perform well in challenges) and is hugely biased towards them during Tribal Council, etc. And his challenge commentary has become just ridiculous.

Glenn said...

"Audrey Hepburn would be proud of Anne's interpretation of that classic song."

Why would Audrey be proud? Audrey didn't sing "Moon River", did she?

Unknown said...

Glenn, Audrey performed the very first rendition of "Moon River". She sings the song on her fire escape early on in the film.

LeighWill said...

Im pretty sure Annie is on her way to winning the triple crown (although not sure if this really counts as 'acting') and even an EGOT. She just seems like someone who has the talents and the charm to win everything

Even though i dont agree with NPH for his guest appearance, im hoping that now he has won here Ty Burrell WINS for Modern Family


or Glenn -- did you mean "she didn't write" the song. I'm sure you've seen Breakfast at Tiffanys ;)

Rich Aunt Pennybags said...

I agree-O'Malley definitely, definitely deserved that one.

Yes, who would have thought that after seeing him first on Yes, Dear that I actually would agree that Mike O'Malley deserved to win an Emmy.

While I hate make up awards, since they don't seem like they'll end anytime soon just because I'd like them to, I'd rather NPH won Best Supporting Actor this year instead of winning for Best Guest Actor. That way Malley could have won for Glee, and because NPH deserves an Emmy for his portrayal of Barney even if HIMYM hasn't been that good lately.

Mirko said...

I'm very happy for Anne Hathaway and, most of all, for Ann-Margret. Now if only Nora Walker could find another good screen role, I'm sure she could do more than guest starring in tv series

Volvagia said...

Well, personally, I think Simon Helberg should have gotten in over co-lead Jon Cryer. Other than that, the field is perfect.


I love the character O'Malley plays on Glee but I'm not sure why people think the performance is so great to tell you the truth. He's good, though, totally.

Is it because the character is such a fantasy dad. a dad most gay men would've liked to have had... so sympathetic and loyal and honest and... well yeah. he's awesome.

The EMMYS have way too many categories but in some ways it would make more sense to have a different category for recurring performances than true "guest actor" parts (like NPH's)

Volvagia said...

Call it "Intermittent." This is for parts that appear in more than 1 but less than 1/2 of a season's episodes. (2-11 for Network shows.)

Sara said...

This makes me like Hathaway less. I know I know, that's weird. But the voice work was hardly work, imo. She's not a bad singer, she's very good, but she's not what I consider memorable. But she's trained so of course she's hailed. (And before anyone calls me out for that comment, consider: if that doesn't matter why is it always brought up even though it's not usually brought up with Broadyway singers?) It's the same with her stage work which isn't bad just unremarkable.

It's like her supporters want her to be the new Judy Garland/Julie Andrews and tend to ignore the fact that her voice is pretty unremarkable and so is the material.

(To me she's the acting equivalent of singers who always have to sing whenever they're in a movie.)

She has an Emmy, but I don't consider her an Emmy award winner. It's like winning a Grammy for a 'spoken word album' or something. Pass.

Mirko said...

Well Audrey Hepburn got a grammy for a spoken album and an emmy for a documentary...but those count for telling she got the EGOT. so why this emmy shouldn't count for Hathaway?


Andrew K. said...

I'm ecstatic that The Tudors won costume design because it doesn't get nominated for all the main awards it should be winning, so I'll take a win for the costume even if it's just that.

jen said...

Sara, I thought Anne Hathaway was a decent singer before I saw this "The Simpsons " episode. But, after watching this particular episode, Anne blew me away with her remarkable vocals. I was absolutely shocked- because I couldn't believe it was Hathaway 's singing voice. At the beginning of this episode, she was truly singing like an opera singer ( most A-list movie stars or most Broadway singers cannot pull that off). Towards the ending of this particular episode, she sung an acoustic version of "Moon River" . It was just her vocals and a guitar - she was brilliant. Hathaway is talented, trust and believe , she has no desire to be the next " Garland or Andrews". Also, Anne doesn't sing in all her films- just like Hugh Jackman has never sung in a film.

Voice acting is not easy because you can only act ( or rely) with your speaking voice - no facial expressions, no body language, , and the focus on vocal detail is intensified . Look at the great vocal work of Robin Williams ( Alladin), Eddie Murphy ( Shrek), Ellen Degeneres (Finding Nemo), Brad Bird & Craig T. Nelson ( The Incredibles), and Hank Azaria ( Simpsons). These types of performances deserve award recognition.


jen -- i know you're right and that it's true that anne & hugh have never sun in films, but i hate it. it's SO DUMB of hollywood (and or the actors themselves) to have that talent and not use it. It's like Julia Roberts refusing to smile or Glenn Close refusing to give anyone death glares.

what a waste!

Samson said...

The voiceover category has been changed from juried to voted category. So there's a greater chance that one-off type guest spots can win there over series regulars. Pretty awful that Anne Hathaway won on her first try for a not-that-memorable episode, and poor Harry Shearer has been waiting two decades for his Emmy. And just about EVERYONE in that regular cast has an Emmy of their own besides him.

Ian said...

John Slattery can wear the hell out of a three-piece black suit, can't he. If I can rock that look and hair at his age . . . yum.

Volvagia said...

Speaking of Simpsons Guest Spots, my odd personal favourite is Thomas Pynchon's 30 second turn. "Here's your quote: Thomas Pynchon loved this book, about as much as he loves cameras." After, he sits on the side of the rode, asking passing drivers to if they want a photo with him, even though he's wearing a paper bag.

Sara said...

AH's vocals are no more impressive to me than Emmy Rossum's. And there's a reason that neither of these girls is a professional singer.

"so why this emmy shouldn't count for Hathaway?"
Grammy's should be for professional singers and such. A listers who do tings like spoken word albums will always get a nod more for their fame than the quality of their work.

"These types of performances deserve award recognition."
I agree that voice work is difficult, I just don't agree that Hathaway did a great job. I believe she got nominated for being an A-lister. As Samspon pointed out there is a member of the regular cast who hasn't even been nominated, and the regulars are far more gifted than the guest stars.

I guess I shouldn't blame AH but I feel like she courts this kind of adulation without really earning it. Why not go to Broadway or do an o.b. musical? Something high quality and challenging?

Kit said...

One consolation for Harry Shearer. He was nominated last year when they changed this category's voting. But he lost, and guess who he lost to? Dan Castellaneta. And that was his fourth Emmy win. But doing the voice of Homer Simpson gets you a lot of mileage. I'm still kind of baffled that Anne Hathaway beat everyone in her lineup. I thought for sure they'd either throw a bone to Seth Green or award Castellaneta again. But hang in there, Harry Shearer! Your time is coming! (I hope.)

jen said...

Sara, once again , Hathaway has the vocal chops- also Emmy is an impressive professional singer . Emmy Rossum actually released a nice CD ( not including the Phantom Of The Opera Soundtrack). After the stellar reviews that Anne received for the musical "Carnival " ( off -Broadway), she was fielding many record label offers. Smartly, she declined those offers because she didn't want to pursue the Billboard Album charts. Also, Hathaway was offered " Promises, Promises" & "Guys & Dolls" , but turned them down because of her busy film career. But , last summer she did critically- acclaimed work in Shakespeare In The Park's Twelfth Night".

It is unfortunate that the talented Harry Shearer never won an Emmy, but why knock Hathaway for doing a good job. Yes, the episode was memorable because it was the most entertaining "Simpsons" episode in years- and it received great reviews and incredible raitings.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but Anne was absolutely marvelous on that "Simpsons" episode. Again, she not only impressed me , but also the tv critics.

Sara, I'm curious, how does Hathaway " court adulation ' ? She is definitely not a Paris Hilton , Kim Kardashian, Kathy Grifin, of Lady Gaga - type of personality.

Sara said...


No, you think Hathaway has the chops. I do not. Surely you're old enough to understand that? Not everyone thinks Anne Hathaway is a good singer. It's not rocket science.

(Emmy Rossum has a nice but unremarkable voice. There's a reason she isn't singing for the opera though. And her album was horrible, I though.)

As far as Hathaway turning down roles, what is your point? I asked why she continued to not do them, but still accept singing work in other projects, I never talked about getting offered them (before, like you, I can use the internet).

I am also aware of her doing Shakespeare as I actually *wrote* about it in one of my posts so thanks for asking me repeat myself, I guess.